State lawmakers have introduced their plan to spend more than $2.6 billion on capital improvements throughout Ohio.
Republican Sen. Scott Oelslager says the new capital budget allows about $600 million for building new schools and around $483 million for colleges and universities. And he says it allocates new spending to deal with Ohio’s opioid crisis.
“Nearly $222 million will be invested in critical health and human services funding for developmental disabilities, mental health, addiction treatment and women’s health initiatives. That’s double what was put in last capital budget for those areas," Oelslager says.
The budget also includes money for several Central Ohio projects:
- $5 million for a corridor connecting COSI with the riverfront Scioto Park
- $1 million for an atrium to connect the North Market for the proposed Market Tower
- $750,000 to renovate the Palace Theatre
- $1 million to renovate elephant and orangutan habitats at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
- $500,000 for renovations at the King Arts Complex
- $500,000 for a Westerville police memorial that follows the recent death of officers
The capital budget will also include $20 million Gov. John Kasich wants for new scientific projects designed to fight opioid addiction through the Ohio Third Frontier program. It also includes money for roads, bridges and local parks, sports and arts facilities and other initiatives.
The lawmakers say they hope to have the bill passed by the time they leave for spring break at the end of March.